3 Holy Treasures of Shinto – from a book I can’t find just now to reference…soon.
1. The Divine Sword
“The relative world emerges from Infinity under the aegis of the August Master of the Center, who dwelling at the point of the splitting of the unitary energy of life, can be said to wield a divine sword which slices that energy into its two manifestations [yin/yang] and thereby creates polarity. This deity is the consummate swordsman who, although cutting into two, does so with such speed and precision that the fluid of life continues to flow between the resulting halves, they therefore remain continuous and intertwined. The two energies of the world preserve their endless harmony and are always one in their dialectical interaction. We can say that they are two-in-One. This unique sword is a tool of creation.
[mid-brain is the August Center in the body – pineal gland]
In Japanese, Understanding is expressed as: Wakaru “to be divided” Chinese ideograph – upper figure is man, lower figure represents a sword.
Magatama – a jewel cut in an emerging spiral…this structure lies inherent within the undifferentiated matrix of existence…By means of it, Deity expresses itself.
In Japanese, Tama means soul…human soul is Mitsu-domoe – three-soul, or a sphere composed of three intertwined magatma.
According to Shinto, the human soul is composed of 4 elements:
*ara-(mi)tama – signifies man’s capacity to materialize his ideas – industry
*migi-(mi)tama – capacity to consolidate and organize the material world
*saki-(mi)tama – rep. ability to analyze, split, and differentiate the world into its constituent elements
*kushi-(mi)tama – capacity to pierce, penetrate, and centralize the worlds of matter and mind. – the three-soul is portrayed because the fourth aspect of man’s soul [to unify the many into one] is rarely realized…?
Shinto may be the way of the mirror; its God is the Looking Glass God
*All forms appearing in a mirror constitute the reflected world seen from the Back, and from that perspective, either left-right or up-down is always reversed.
*Neither the spiral nor helix has a plane of symmetry – can never be made to coincide with its reflection – clockwise-moving helix, when reflected, moves counter-clockwise.
The principle of yin-yang is a principle of asymmetric polarity
The universe is, then, the mirror reflection of Infinity. The mirror however, has reversed the nature of that Infinity. The latter is undifferentiated unity; the imaged universe is finite and endless differentiation. These two are then, front and back, and creation is a glance in the mirror.
Man as a microcosm – he contains within himself all the elements of the universe that preceded his emergence.
…The Spiral as Muse
Jinja -Shinto shrines “dwelling places of the deity” green, flowing water…In ancient times the center of worship is thought to have been only a tree of rock, set apart from and sanctified…
This embodies the traditional value of wabi, or impoverished simplicity – the practice of making an object of great beauty and refinement out of the simplest materials – rooted in a humble and reverential attitude toward the most commonplace in nature.
…a fundamental insight one may experience within the holy precinct is that of a stream of continuity binding and integrating the animate and inanimate and the heavenly with the earthly; it is the flowing into each other of the invisible and the visible, the plant and the animal…Shinto, the Way of God, is the path of the ultimate stream of life-energy winding its way through all the forms in the universe.
Gegu – outer shrine, the deity of rice – the material of man’s body
Naigu – inner shrine, deity embodied in the mirror signifying the human mind.
Standing within the continuous stream of time and space, one comprehends oneself to be everyman – the small self disappears before the self of life…
Torii – means bird’s perch, or tree – two poles with a rope (shimenawa – made of several strands of rice straw twisted into a helix…attached to shimenawa are shide: pieces of paper or cloth cut in the form of small helices) tied between them – the two poles[yin/yang] are never distinct; there is always this connecting flow uniting them into the larger whole.
shishi-koma-inu – pair of Korean lion-dogs sitting before the torii and guarding the compound – highly stylized spirals and helices, the mouth of one is open, the other is closed
Gohei – the structure of the Kami
Harai-gushi -the wand of purification
Enza – straw mat wound into seven twists, where the priest meditates and prays.
In Shinto, man is conceived of as the perennial child in the womb of Infinity, forever drawing life from the mother through the helical world of creation.
Ring the bell several times – Makoto – vigorously shaking it – creating vibration and Increasing Infinity…
Enantiomorphic – unite the right and the left in clapping several times – we execute our role as the unifier of the passive and the active
And with hands clasped, approach the mirror.
These two helical processes – the materialization of Deity and the deification of man – are not separate processes but the mirror-image halves of one continuum. They constitute the front and back of the process of human existence. Having achieved this self-transmutation, man has fulfilled his kami-hood within the precinct of his dwelling place. The shrine has served as tool of human self-realization.
Before departing, it is proper to leave an offering to Deity.
Wabi tastes – three small cups filled with humble food: rice, salt, and water – the nourishment and essence of divinity.
Shinto as Intuition…the spiral as practice…
Shinto is the pure expression of human intuition. It is Makoto -the basis of human civilization, engendering Wa – social peace and harmony.
In ancient Japan there was no distinction between pursuit of harmony with Deity and the administration of the state. Japan was known as Yamato – the land of great Wa.
Human intuition as the perception and expression of the will of life.